Re: CB Chickadees join nuthatch irruption at Lucky Peak (Ada Co)


Thanks for the details about the road. Those conditions seem about the same as it has been the last several years. I have a Subaru outback, but I’m not always confident on that country roads with ruts. My best bet will be to recruit a friend with a high clearance vehicle or ask if Audubon is organizing a field trip up there this year.
Thanks again for your reply to my inquiry.
Diann Stone
Boise Depot Bench

Re: CB Chickadees join nuthatch irruption at Lucky Peak (Ada Co)

Hi Diane!
I’m a songbird bander at the station. The road is pretty rough, but doable with a 4WD/AWD (4 wheel better than all wheel though) and high clearance vehicle. For reference, most Subarus can make it up but I wouldn’t take anything much smaller. There are quite a few “water bars” (think large dirt speed bumps), deep ruts, some rocky spots and some washboard. It usually takes around 30 minutes to drive, maybe a bit longer if it’s your first time up in a while. If you’d like to stay the night for owls you can sign up for that on our website: 


Re: CB Chickadees join nuthatch irruption at Lucky Peak (Ada Co)

It’s great to know about the surprise birds, entertaining to read about.

I haven’t been up to the banding site for several years, partly because of reportedly bad road conditions. How is the road at this time? I’d sure like to make it up there for raptor watch and maybe owling time. 
Thanks for your ongoing research and communication with the public.
Diann Stone
Boise Depot Benchtr

CB Chickadees join nuthatch irruption at Lucky Peak (Ada Co)

Howdy Folks

At our fall migration study site in the Boise Foothills (

, we’re seeing LOADS of nuthatches and have been since we began in July.  Red-breasted & White-breasted are annual but in variable #s and this year is definitely among the best in 25+ years for both … more noteworthy is that we’ve been observing way more Pygmy Nuthatches than in any previous year (observed on probably 90+% of days since mid July) and I saw at least 4 together yesterday.

Then, 2 Chestnut-backed Chickadees joined the crowd yesterday in the forest right near our banding yurt – and we just heard them again today.  This is a species we detect roughly every 3-4 years, sometimes a single bird in a season & other times in more #s.
Might be as good a year as any to find a Pygmy Nuthatch (already multiple sightings in the Treasure Valley) or Chestnut-backed in Boise or nearby 🤞🤞